Signs from God in Such Strange Ways
Sometimes the answers to our prayers come in ways we least expect. Early in the days of my grief over the death of my closest friend, David, I constantly searched for proof that God really exists and that He could hear my prayers. I never expected His answer in the way it came.
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Here’s what happened:
One day, I drove home from work, praying again. I prayed all the time. I knew I needed help, but I didn’t know how to go about getting it. “Please, God. Please give me a sign that everything is okay.”
A feeling of peace that I can’t really explain washed over me for a brief second. I glanced over and saw through the trees a huge sign. I could only see part of it but that one part was enough for me. In large cursive letters, I read David. The timing of the sign right after my prayer wasn’t completely lost on me. I wondered if that was my sign. What is a sign anyway? A coincidence? Maybe. Of course, David was on my mind. Maybe that’s why I’d only just noticed this literal sign that had been there all along.
I reached over and flipped on the radio. George Michael was singing, “You gotta have faith, faith, faith.” Definitely not a religious song, but what timing! Faith. I laughed and drove on home. I told Mark (my husband) right away.
“I think you got your sign, Julie,” he told me. “Everything is okay.”
Hmm. I liked the thought of that, but it wasn’t enough. How could I be sure? How could I be positive that God sent me a sign and that it wasn’t coincidence? I didn’t know. I wanted David to be okay so badly. I wanted God to be a part of everything so much. I feared reading something into it to make myself feel better. It became critical I find out for sure.
A few days later while at work, Mark emailed me saying he was on his way into town; he had something to give me. His email was short and abrupt. I wondered what in the world it could be.
I waited outside for him. He arrived, a shaken look on his face, carrying something with him.
I took his arm and led him to the porch bench where we sat together.
“I was cleaning the basement,” he said. “I decided to get rid of some of those old mildewed boxes.” Our house was old, the basement a mess. The mildewed boxes had long needed to be cleaned out.
He continued, “I was about to haul one of the boxes out to burn, and I decided instead to look through it first. As I dug through it, I found this.” He held out a cassette tape. When I saw it, my jaw dropped. George Michael’s Faith. Let me tell you, we never listened to George Michael. Mark bought it for a friend years before and somehow had never given it away. We threw out most of our cassettes years before as we made the transition to CDs and digital.
“I thought you’d get a kick out of me finding this tape after your ‘gotta have faith’ sign, so I tossed it back into the box to carry out later rather than now. I headed upstairs but decided to go back and get it to make sure nothing happened to it. I dug through the box again to find it, but it had shifted down underneath papers and junk. Finally, I found it again. Right on top of this.”
I looked at what he held out to me. Another cassette. I recognized David’s handwriting on the cover. Like with the Faith cassette, no mildew covered this one, a cassette of David speaking at a retreat years before, speaking about faith and living fully.
I just looked at Mark, amazed at the magnitude of all of these coincidences.
“I know.” Mark nodded at me, understanding what I felt at that very moment. “I grabbed both tapes and ran up the stairs. Halfway up, such emotion overcame me. Such presence. I literally fell to my knees and thanked God. I promised Him I’d make sure you got this.”
I reached for the cassette. Running my fingers over David’s name written by his own hand, I thought about my ‘signs’. What was I supposed to learn from them? Faith. I knew that much. Coincidences or not, faith in God was key. “Thank you, Lord,” I prayed silently…
Maybe these types of things are coincidences. The analytical part of my brain often believes so. How could they be anything else? I’ve come to realize, though, that God works this way. Always. God’s just so big we can’t comprehend His magnitude. We may not be awake or aware of His ongoing work in our lives and just occasionally, He opens our eyes wide enough to see. We get little glimpses of comfort and hope in the occurrence of what might otherwise be considered random. When the random comes in response to our prayers and reminds us in some way to trust in Him, we should thank Him and move forward in His love.
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